Pakistan court sentences ex-Premier Imran Khan to 10 years in jail

Imran Khan. Editorial credit: Jahanzaib Naiyyer /

A Pakistani court has sentenced former Prime Minister Imran Khan and his top diplomat Shah Mahmood Qureshi to 10 years in jail in a case that accused the incarcerated ex-premier of leaking “state secrets.”

The sentence was announced by Judge Abual Hasnat Moham­mad Zulqarnain in the northeastern garrison city of Rawalpindi’s Adiala Jail.

Khan is accused of exposing an official secret when he waved a confidential diplomatic letter at a rally in 2022.

However, Khan’s lawyer Gohar Ali Khan said his Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party would challenge the sentence in the Islamabad High Court in the capital.

“We will challenge this sentence in Islamabad High Court and Supreme Court and hope we will get justice,” he told reporters.

Two more of Khan’s lawyers, Taimur Malik and Naeem Haider Panjutha, also rejected the verdict, calling it “illegal.”

“This ten year sentence won’t stand for ten days before the appellate courts. Such brazen disregard of law and constitution has never been witnessed before,” Malik said on X, following the court verdict.

Sign up for regular updates straight to your inbox

Subscribe to our newsletter and stay updated on the latest news and updates from around the Muslim world!

“The way 18 prosecution witnesses have been hurriedly cross examined on Saturday and then till midnight yesterday by unlawfully appointed State Counsel will be a case study of miscarriage of justice for the future,” he added.

The verdict came after Khan and Qureshi’s legal team was barred by Judge Zulqarnain from cross-examining government witnesses on Monday night.

Malik claimed that the judge deprived Khan and Qureshi of their defence team and “unlawfully” appointed state counsel to represent them in the court.

Khan’s legal team also expressed no confidence in the sitting judge and asked him to recuse himself from the case, though the request was rejected.

Shah Mahmood Qureshi. Editorial credit: Gabriel Petrescu /

In a statement from jail, Khan called the case as a “fixed match” and said that while the country’s top court had already granted him bail, the government wanted to give him a “harsh sentence, provoke the public, and spread disappointment among people to stay at home on election day.”

Khan has accused the U.S. of overthrowing his government, a claim Washington has denied.

“This is not a trial but a fixed match,” Khan said and urged the public to remain peaceful and come out to vote on election day next month.

“This is your war and this is your test that you have to take revenge for every injustice by your vote on February 8 while remaining peaceful,” he said.

The cricketer-turned-politician, who served from 2018 to 2022, lost a vote of confidence in parliament in April 2022, one year short of completing his term.

In Aug. 2022, he was sentenced by a trial court in Islamabad for concealing details of state gifts he received while prime minister and later “unlawfully” selling them. Pakistan’s Election Commission, consequently, barred him from holding public office for five years.

However, weeks later, the Islamabad High Court suspended his sentence and ordered his release. Nevertheless, he is still languishing in jail in several other cases ahead of the general elections slated to be held on February 8.


Add your comments below

Previous articleIsraeli activists attempt to block humanitarian aid from getting into Gaza